It's a good time for racing games. This holiday season sees the release of the two biggest console racing sims around: Forza Motorsport 5 is the latest entry in a franchise that debuted on the original Xbox, while Sony’s Gran Turismo 6 follows in the lineage of some of the greatest racing sims ever released. And while the two games are similar in a lot of ways, with gorgeous graphics and lots of fast cars, there's one key difference — Forza is the showcase game for Microsoft's new Xbox One, while Gran Turismo is available today for the seven-year-old PlayStation 3, and not the new PlayStation 4. So how much of a difference does next-gen make for racing games?

It might not always be readily apparent, but next-gen games do look better than their current-gen counterparts in almost every case. Playing GT6 after playing Forza 5 is perhaps the best example. The latest Gran Turismo features strikingly detailed cars that, aside from a bit of aliasing, look incredibly realistic. But the rest of the experience doesn't have nearly that same level of detail. Compared to Forza, GT6's courses feel flat and lifeless. Details like trees and rocks simply don't look real, with muddied textures that are in stark contrast to the clean, shiny racing machines that speed past them. At times it feels like you're driving a real car through a fake world.